Evangelism the Indonesian way: Become a Christian and be persecuted!
“Come on, do the call of Jesus”
In the West we say, “Become a Christian and be blessed”. Not in Indonesia! Over there they say, “Come on, do the call of Jesus“, after explaining that this call involves experiencing the sufferings of Christ, which is “blessed”. That’s not what we tend to associate with “Blessed”!
I found the article below (I have embedded it), and it struck me just how differently the Gospel is presented in different settings. In Indonesia, where most areas are dominated by Islam, being a Christian can be a miserable life of exclusion, persecution, and discrimination. Never mind going to a bbq and feeling shy about saying that you go to church just in case someone things that’s lame. We’re talking about having your kids stolen, house burned down, imprisonment, beatings, and executions.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously wrote, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die“. That was part of his landmark work, “The Cost of Discipleship”. The setting? Nazi Germany.
So what books do we find on sale in Australia in 2012?
… and there’s nothing wrong with that. But Boy, what a contrast it is to:
Jesus said that people who are willing to suffer for His name … become heirs Kingdom of Heaven and receive eternal reward in dalamya. Where were you ? Come on, do the call of Jesus.
(From the attached article)
I wonder how many of us would be able to comprehend the words of Jesus in the way the Indonesians do. Have a look at the very few verses they choose to celebrate in the article below, all are about persecution. And this is an evangelistic tract!
We have a lot to learn about the persecuted church. Tertullian wrote (in the Third Century AD, under heavy persecution), “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Apologeticus). He was observing that the heavier and more bloody the persecution, the more the Christian church flourished! The Indonesians, in the article below, are correct in finding that Jesus predicted this phenomenon, and they observe it as a daily part of their faith life.
When brutally attacked, Christianity flourishes. When it finds itself at ease, the rot tends to set in. May we remain ever vigilant in our faith, and fervently pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, so that we know ourselves to be indebted to them. It is their tears, their losses, their bereft prayers, and their blood, that are spiritually feeding the Church, and interceding for all of us. We, in the West, are beneficiaries. Let’s not kid ourselves.
Here is the Indonesian evangelistic tract:
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please send missionaries and much financial helps to WEST PAPUA, pasific island. Muslims outislander rapidly increased and they doing islamization in West Papua. Some muslim killed many pastours & do arson attack over christ village & churchs. Please come and evangelism
hehe, I am Indonesian and there is much more happiness to be Christian in Indonesia rather than sadness. We have a lot of good Muslim rather than the one than show their anger face to us.
Please do not underestimate us. Indonesia is a nation in which religious differents are welcomed.
There is always a challenge to stay in diversity, but it is also a blessing to be with friends and family from diver religious affiliation. I am a Christian and I am happy to be an Indonesian Christian.
This is a fair comment. Thank you.
Indonesia is a country with millions of people, and different experiences in different places.
Actually this article is really about Christians in the West, who think they are being “persecuted” when someone just doesn’t want to hear about Christian ideas. There are Christians who really are persecuted – some are in Indonesia, some in India, some in the Middle East, and so on, but in all those places there are also peaceful areas.
Thank you for reminding us that we can, and should, all live as good neighbours.